Connecticut Fishing Report
Heather, from Blackhawk Sport Fishing out of Niantic reported that they have finally been able to get back out on the tautog grounds, after losing quite a few trips to the weather last week. Their tog trips remain successful, with a good number of keepers coming over the rails, along with plenty of big sea bass and scup. They will continue to have their “tautog/bottom fishing” trips, along with their standard bottom fishing trips. As always, be sure to check their Facebook page for daily reports and updates and grab your reservation tickets through their website.
Mike Roy of Reel Cast Charters is still finding some strong striped bass action before the blow, as the fish are getting ready to move and showing more aggression. The lower CT River and all the adjacent reefs are holding some big bass and bluefish, and most of those same reefs are still paved with quality sea bass. Tog fishing has also remained strong whenever he has been able to get out, with full boat limits on all trips. There have also been a few more pods of false albacore showing up this week, so the fall run appears to be far from over!
The beat has rolled on for, Captain Chris Elser, of Elser Guide Service. The Western Sound fishing has been outstanding whenever he has been able to get out. Big bass and bluefish are running throughout the entire Western Sound shorelines, with 30-pound bass and 12-15-pound bluefish being relatively common. The other good news is that the recent winds have not pushed out the false albacore, and they could be taken on any small anchovy imitators, such as the ¾ ounce Exo Jig and Game On Lures Duratech 5-inch plastic.
Tyler, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, reported that the recent storms have cooled the water and really kicked the fall run into gear. Most days are seeing birds working and fishing chewing on the surface across the area. Stripers to 25-pounds and bluefish to 15-pounds can still be found in relatively shallow water and are taking live bunker and large topwater offerings. There are still some big fish on the local reefs as well, and they can usually be taken on diamond jigs or 3-wayed baits. The albie action has been a bit more sporadic, but you can usually find a few pods anywhere from Norwalk to Fairfield. Tautog fishing has remained very strong, but there are more short fish in the mix that you must weed through. Sea bass and scup are also still around and can be caught in shallow water alongside tog.
Rhode Island Fishing Report
The Frances Fleet in Narragansett was happy to get back out and get after it following a week of extremely windy weather. Captain Greg saw a slammer day on the tautog grounds on Monday, with a full boat limit before 11 AM. The recent winds and a slightly lower water temperature seem to have gotten the fish moving quite a bit. The bite was a bit trickier on Tuesday, but the fish were still chewing for anglers that figured it out. High hook landed 8 keepers, and there were many limits around the boat of fish in the 5-7-pound range. The cod grounds have been a bit trickier since the blow, but Captain Rich is still finding a few nice cod to 5-pounds, along with some slammer sea bass and scup. They will continue to sail daily if the weather allows, be sure to check the website for scheduling updates!
Dave, at Ocean State Tackle in Providence, told me that things have been strong on the tautog front since the winds have started to settle down. Anglers are finding plenty of big keeper fish in the 20-23-inch range around Narragansett, South Kingstown, and Charlestown. Tautog from 8-pounds to the lower double digits have also been common around the Providence River, and in most of the usual haunts in the Lower Bay. Those looking for stripers are still finding some solid fish that are willing to chew soft plastics or topwaters in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers, with the best action coming around dawn and dusk. Dave will be open from 6 AM to 2 PM Friday through Sunday, and now has all striped bass plugs on sale from 10-15% off!
Connor, from Tall Tailz Charters in Newport told me that the Rhode Island tautog fishing has been electric this week as the weather has started to settle. All his trips are seeing quick limits of nice eater size fish, along with some monster double-digit fish up to 15.4-pounds! There are still loads of quality sea bass in the mix, so there has been no shortage of meat for the coolers. They haven’t been specifically targeting striped bass, but they have still managed to find a few good ones on most trips, and they are still willing to hit topwater plugs. The hardtails haven’t left the area yet either, and you can generally find a few willing false albacore if you cover some ground. A big push of squid has also moved into the area and can be found in deeper water. It appears we are in the middle of some epic fall fishing at its finest!
Dustin, at RI Kayak Fishing Adventures told me that there is still a nice fall run bite going on for saltwater anglers. There’s plenty of striped bass activity on topwater, along with a few pods of false albacore that are still hanging around. The tautog fishing is the center of attention for most saltwater anglers, with most trips resulting in plenty of keepers. Freshwater action has also improved, with largemouth and smallmouth bass taking a number of different topwater presentations; while the pike and trout seem to be moving into their fall mode, and really starting to chew.
Rick, at Priority Charters in Point Judith, had continued to shift his attention to tautog fishing whenever the weather has allowed. They’re still finding plenty of keeper fish on all their early season rockpiles, with several quality fish in the 7-9-pound range. Short fish aren’t overpowering the bite, but there have been about 2-3 shorts for each keeper, so the action has been top notch! The recent weather may start to move the fish to their mid to later season haunts, but with the reasonable water temperatures, the season should roll on right up to the finish.
Nick, at Big Bear Hunting and Fishing, told me that a number of his customers had been turning to the freshwater, with the rough conditions going on in the salt. The trout action has been good across the state following the fall stockings, with the fish responding well to tandem midge patterns. Anglers that have gotten out in the salt have found continued success with the tautog, along with some explosive striped bass blitzes close to shore across South County and Warwick.
Last week I wondered if the series of storms we were enduring would hurt the fall fishing or really kick it into gear, and luckily it appears to be the latter. Tog fishing has picked up right where we left off, with plenty of keepers and some true giants being caught across varying depths. The sea bass and scup have not moved out just yet and can be caught in the same areas as tautog. Striped bass and bluefish can be taken in most of their usual fall haunts, while the false albacore action really seems to have intensified after the blow last week. With the increasingly cold weather, the end will be approaching soon, but it’s certainly not here yet, so go enjoy it!